Camden Passage nail bar London Grace sparks uproar (and confusion) by applying for licence to sell alcohol

A file image of a woman with manicured hands holding a glass of wine. Neighbours have objected to na

A file image of a woman with manicured hands holding a glass of wine. Neighbours have objected to nail bar London Grace's plan to sell wine to clients, saying it makes 'no sense'. Picture: Kurt/Flickr/Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0) - Credit: Archant

Another booze licence row has erupted in Camden Passage – this time after a nail bar applied to sell alcohol.

London Grace wants to open up and sell wine and cocktails to its customers. It has prompted 12 objections from homeowners on the Passage worried about increased noise.

But they are also asking what it means for the future of the iconic antiques market.

As reported in the Gazette in March, homeowners were fearing the “demise” of Camden Passage’s heritage when an upmarket deli called Le Coq Epicier won a licence to sell expensive wine.

And those concerns were reflected in the objections to London Grace’s plans.

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One said: “If a shop whose primary business is not serving alcohol, or alcohol with food, is licensed, then what is to prevent a shop selling clothes, jewellery or antiques to serve alcohol?

“Theoretically every shop in the Passage could become a licensed premises.”

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Another exasperated neighbour said: “It is not necessary to have a drink whilst having a manicure. The two activities do not even seem logical.

“The applicant therefore wishes to attract customers for whom no experience is complete without alcohol and who are not there to savour the subtle flavour, [but] there to get the alcohol kick. The customer and a friend could consume, say, several high strength cocktails before during and after treatment.

“Alcohol has its place but it is too often seen as a cash cow by businesses who put profit above everything else regardless of the consequences.”

Another said: “It would be anti-competitive for the many other Islington nail bars. Alcohol is not necessary in a nail bar. Camden Passage has too many licensed premises already.”

London Grace’s plans would see alcohol sold up to 9.30pm between Monday to Wednesday, 10.30pm on Thursdays and Fridays and 4pm on Sundays. It has a capacity of 40, prompting neighbours’ fears about raucous gatherings.

But London Grace said: “Importantly, it is not intended that the premises will be open during the late night economy hours.”

Islington Council’s licensing sub committee is set to make a decision at a town hall meeting on August 31.

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